Hidden lichens revealed – interesting blog

Exploring The Invisible


Covered in dust, in a neglected storage area in one of our laboratories is another box labelled “AHLC Lichens”. As you might expect, the box contains collection of  Lichens colony. These beautiful, almost crystalline life forms slowly animate the rocks and branches that they are attached to.  I’ve discovered that many Lichens fluoresce under ultraviolet light, that is they absorb its energy and then re-emit it at a different and visible wavelength. In simpler terms, they glow in many different colours when exposed to UV light and their appearance is transformed entirely. I am minded of Spar-Boxes , a type of folk art unique to the North Pennines, and which were simple cabinets built by miners to display glittering fluorspar crystals and other minerals unearthed during lead mining. This is my Biological Spar Box, made using Lichens and the property of fluorescence, and is a memorial to the late Dr Tony Chamberlain…

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